Introduced by the Chinese, pancit has spawned more than 20 varieties, some of which--like Malabon and Lucban--are named after places where presumably these variations have been invented. The dish was traditionally served during birthdays since long noodles represent long life. But as more variants were introduced, the pancit began to be served on every occasion, whether birthdays or anniversaries. SPOT.ph drops in on various panciterias that continue to serve their own versions of pancit, proof once more of Filipino ingenuity and adaptability. After all, anywhere you find any variation of pancit, you’ll find a Filipino.
We list 10 pancit dishes that are perfect for celebrations and get-togethers that Pinoys love so much:
1. ALING NORMA’S PANCIT MALABON
No. 25 L.R. Yangco Street, Navotas City
Tel. no. 282-1280
Open from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Aling Norma’s Pancit Malabon (P200 for the smallest bilao that’s good for two to three people) boasts of thick rice noodles drenched in rich sauce. It’s also generously heaped with shelled shrimps, chopped spring onions, sliced hard-boiled eggs, minced garlic, adobong pusit (squid), chopped Chinese cabbage, and crushed chicharon. Those who aren’t into pork can ask the cook to skip the chicharon and just add more shrimp. A plateful of this noodle dish is already a sumptuous meal.
Prices: Aling Norma’s Pancit Malabon comes in bilaos priced at P200 (for two to three people), P250 (for four to five people), P350 (for six to seven people), and so on--with the biggest bilao at P1,200 (for 17 to 20 people).
2. PAKIBALOT PANCITERIA
No. 122 Maginhawa Street, UP Village, Diliman, Quezon City
Tel. no. 383-9625
Open from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Pakibalot Panciteria’s Pancit Canton (P120 for a plate that can be shared by two) is drenched in sauce and mixed with carrots, cabbage strips, and sliced white onions. You can add P30 if you want lechon added into the mix or P40 if you prefer shelled shrimps. If you don’t have any dietary restrictions, add both lechon and shrimp to make your pancit stop a memorable one.
Prices: If you’re throwing a party, Pakibalot Panciteria’s various pancit dishes come in bilaos priced at P400 (for eight to 10 people), P600 (for 11 to 14 people), and P800 (for 15 to 18 people).
3. BUDDY’S PANCIT LUCBAN AT LONGGANISANG LUCBAN
2948 Kakarong Street, Makati City
Tel. no. 899-1170
Open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
Buddy’s Pancit Lucban (P139 for a plateful that can be shared by two to three people) is the kind of noodle dish that guys (or anyone with a huge appetite) would love. The noodles are nicely dry and clumped together to hold thick slices of pork that literally weigh down the dish. Sliced pechay and carrots are also generously mixed with the noodles.
Prices: Buddy’s pancit dishes come in medium (starts at P690, for eight to 10 people) and large (starts at P1,100, for 11 to 15 people) bilaos.
4. LUYONG RESTAURANT
801 J.P. Rizal Street, Concepcion I, Marikina City
Tel. no. 941-1694
Open from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily
You can’t blame Marikina denizens if they don’t feel the need to try out other pancit spots. Luyong Restaurant, which has been serving great food for more than 20 years, boasts of heavenly pancit. Its bestselling Miki Bihon (P130 for a plate than can be shared by two) lives up to its reputation. For an additional P30, lechon chunks are added into the mix. The secret to Luyong’s pancit dishes is the sauce--and, of course, they’re not telling us what’s in it. That’s fine--as long as they keep on serving their pancit.
Prices: Luyong’s pancit offerings come a single size bilao--priced at P525 for regular pancit (without lechon) and P630 for special pancit (without lechon)-"that’s good for eight to 10 people.
5. ADO’S PANCITERIA
126 A. Luna Street, Malinao, Pasig City
Tel. no. 641-1851, 746-9528, or 640-3789
Open from 7 a.m. to 12 midnight daily
Ado’s Panciteria in Pasig is more popular than its address (with all due respect to the mercurial General Antonio Luna whom the street its located on is named after). Bite-sized chunks of chicharon top its Pancit Canton Guisado (P57 for a single serving), one of its many bestsellers. Each of the restaurant’s pancit dishes can be served in various ways--special, guisado, sariwa (fresh), and sabaw (soup).
Prices: Ado’s pancit dishes come in various sizes: mini (P250 to 350, for four to six people), small (P410 to P510, for seven to 10 people), medium (P520 to P620, for 11 to 14 people), large (P580 to P680, for 15 to 17 people) and family (P790 to 890, for 18 to 21 people).
6. ORCHIDS DRIVE INN HOTEL AND RESTAURANT
201 Hillcrest Drive, Pasig City, Metro Manila
Tel. no. 671-2233, 671-4595, or 671-4596
Open 24 hours daily
Orchids’ Pancit Canton (P170 for a serving that can be shared by two) is probably one of the best, if not the best, in Metro Manila. Toppings include one whole hardboiled egg, four pieces of fried chicken, generous servings of pork liver, strips of meat, and fresh vegetables. Just one setback, though. You have to either order it as takeout or check into the establishment to enjoy it. But then again, its pancit canton is one good reason to check out the hotel’s facilities. However, that is another story.
Prices: Orchids’ pancit dishes come in bilaos various sizes: small (P315, for two to four people), medium (P475, for five to seven people), large (P655, for eight to 10 people), extra large (P955, for 12 to 15 people), and double extra large (P1,515, for 16 to 20 people).
7. LOLA IDANG’S ORIGINAL PANCIT MALABON
56 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City
Tel. no. 927-6417
Open 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily
In its Visayas Ave., Quezon City branch, the restaurant has two signs--an older one and a newer, fresher, and brighter emblem. Despite its new look, it still serves Original Pancit Malabon (P60 for a single serving) in the same way it has been known for all throughout the years. Its bestseller is served with thick noodles and a thick sauce, topped with sliced eggs, shrimps, ground chicharon, and lettuce.
Prices: Lola Idang’s Pancit Malabon comes in bilaos priced at P100 (for two people), P150 (for three people), P230 (for four people), and so on--with the largest bilao at P820 (30 people).
8. LITTLE QUIAPO
Bustamante Commercial Complex, Doña Soledad Ave., Better Living, Parañaque City
Tel. no. 823-7117
Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
No day passes by without at least one Little Quiapo customer ordering Pancit Palabok (P83 for a single serving), one of its many bestsellers. Served with adobong posit, tofu, ground chicharon, and what appears to be one whole sliced hardboiled egg, the noodle dish is virtually drowning in sauce, practically covering the noodles. Owing to the generous amount of toppings and its sauce, the dish doesn’t even have to be mixed. It’s a treat, especially for those who want their pancit palabok extra rich.
Prices: Little Quiapo’s noodle dishes come in small (starts at P288, for two to three people), medium (starts at P415, for four to seven people), large (starts at P481, for eight to 10 people), extra large (P547, for 11 to 14 people), and double extra large for (starts at P1,637, for 15 to 18 people) servings.
9. RAMON LEE’S PANCITERIA
540 Ronquillo Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila
Tel. no. 733-0642
Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Saturday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday
No question about it: Ramon Lee’s Panciteria has been around the block since your grandparents were young enough to be blissfully unaware of arthritis. Founded in 1929, the restaurant has been relocated once (circa 1940s) and renovated in 2006. However, despite its 81-year existence, it should occasionally undergo a reality check. It’s Pancit canton--one of its many specialties--costs P170. While the serving is fit for two, perhaps even three people, toppings and ingredients are far too few, compared to those served by its competitors.
Prices: Ramon Lee’s pancit offerings come in small (P400, for six to eight people), medium (P550, for nine to 12 people), and large (P800, for 13 to 18 people) bilaos.
10. AMBER GOLDEN CHAIN OF RESTAURANTS
No. 19 EDSA, Barangay Barangka Ilaya, Mandaluyong City
Tel. no. 533-1111
Open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
Amber is a restaurant that’s best known for its large order goodies. Among these goodies is their Pancit Malabon (P50 for a single serving). The rich sauce blends well with the thick rice noodles. There are also generous helpings of shelled shrimp, crunchy Chinese cabbage strips, and slices of hardboiled eggs. In any case, the sauce alone already hits the spot.
Prices: Amber’s noodle dishes are priced at P300 (for five people), P500 (for 10 people), P600 (for 15 people), P700 (for 20 people), and 800 (for 25 people).
Photos by the SPOT.ph team.